The Challenge of Elijah

Then Elijah said to them, “I am the only one of the LORD’s prophets left, but Baal has four hundred and fifty prophets.  Get two bulls for us. Let them choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it.  Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire–he is God.”

Then all the people said, “What you say is good.” – 1 Kings 18:22-24 (NIV)

If this kind of showdown happened today, it would be covered by some reality TV station with a title like Ultimate Altar Showdown and color commentary by Bobby Flay and Bob Costas.  The technology has changed and so has the way we learn about the world around us, but the confrontation between truth and falsehood is still in full swing.  The world still needs Elijah’s.

Here was a man of God living among false prophets and depraved citizens, preaching the words God put in his mouth.  He faced them with faith in God and the certainty of His promises.  Elijah was courageous, obedient and steadfast in the face of great opposition.  Elijah stood firmly in the gap between the world God desired for His people and the world they were living in and spoke truth.  He is a shining example of unflinching confidence in God.

It is easy for us to think that we are lucky things are different today – that we don’t have to worry about false prophets and imitation gods who require abominable sacrifices – but the tension still exists.  The prophets where different clothes and use different words, but they still speak against the will of God; the idols don’t stand as statues on hills, but they still require abominable sacrifices.  Our children are introduced to these deceptive influences through their contact with the world and we need to give them eyes to see and minds to understand.  We need to be their Elijah.

When we here them say something or see them doing something that doesn’t reflect the will of God, we have to stand in the gap of who God wants them to be and who they are and speak the truth.  We need to stand against the false prophets of false Gods with the truth of scripture with unflinching confidence.  We need to show our children the powerlessness of false teachings and the power of God’s truth.  God calls us to lead our children from the will of the world and their own fallen will into His will with courage, obedience and steadfast faith.

In order to fulfill this calling our lives as parents, we need to be people immersed in the Word, engaged in His work and transformed by His will.  We cannot call our children to something we don’t understand ourselves.  We cannot lead the way if we are not on the Way.  If we want to be like Elijah for our children, we need to press on in our life with God.  Elijah had a lot of reasons not to continue his ministry, but the one reason he had to continue was good enough: because God had called him to do it.

Lord, help me answer the call of Elijah for the sake of my children.  Through the conviction of the Holy Spirit, show me the false prophets that are speaking into my life and silence them.  May I be a man of courage, obedience and steadfast faith and lead my children into Your will each day. Amen.

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